Senator Martha McSally will return to her home state of Arizona this week for a six-week recess after she failed to deliver on her pledge to fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). In response, Western Values Project Action (WVP) – a Montana-based conservation watchdog group – is launching a new digital ad in Arizona, asking why Senator McSally is putting Arizona’s parks, public lands, and access at risk by not fully funding the LWCF.
Watch the 30-second digital ad here.
“Inaction and empty promises won’t protect our public lands, parks and our western way of life,” said Chris Saeger, the executive director for Western Values Project Action. “As Senator McSally returns home for recess, we have a simple message for her: do your job and get the LWCF funded.”
Before leaving for summer vacation, the Senate passed a two-year continuing budget resolution, lifting the debt ceiling to avoid another reckless Trump government shutdown. The budget resolution did not include funding for the critical LWCF.
In Arizona, the LWCF has invested some $253 million in the state’s parks, public lands, and public access over the last 50 years. But the Trump administration proposed nearly eliminating funding and Senator McSally has yet to stand up to Trump in demanding funding for a critically important program to Arizona’s parks and public lands.
McSally has remained silent about her support for fully funding the LWCF and whether the Senate has any plans to address the funding gap by move pending legislation that would make the funding permanent before leaving for another summer vacation. Senator McSally (AZ) did vote to pass the bipartisan and permanent reauthorization of the LWCF but she also voted to endanger the LWCF earlier this year.
The LWCF is widely supported and doesn’t cost taxpayers a dime. Since its creation in 1964, Congress has only allocated the full $900 million allowed under the act a handful of times, meaning $22 billion in funding to support America’s public lands, parks, and public access have been diverted. On March 12, 2019, the LWCF was signed into permanent law, after passing both chambers of Congress by a wide bipartisan margin. However, the fund was passed with an empty bank account.
WVP Action recently launched a campaign calling on three key Western senators to ensure full and permanent funding for the LWCF. The campaign urges constituents to visit TellMcSally.org, TellGardner.org, and TellDaines.org to tell their Senator to show leadership on this issue.